A hill, a meadow, a mountain . . .

A hill, a meadow, a mountain,

God made them all for me

to climb, to romp in, to look at–

how wonderful God must be!

He made the little flowers

that peep up through the earth.

He made the rocks and waterfalls–

how much my world is worth!

It’s rich in clover and daisies

that fragrant the meadow green

and boasts of stately maple trees

that shade the brook between.

Oh, how that God must love me

to give me this to behold!

I’d never trade my mountainside

for a city that’s filled with gold.

© 2014 Freeda Baker Nichols
Violets at Banner

Bridal Veil Falls

Banner Mountain (1) -2-1

Hummingbird King of the Crop

A white-shell egg, the size of tiny pea
lay warm beneath a feathered tummy fluff
in nest of hair and twine on limb of tree
that swayed when April’s wind blew gentle puff.

The hut was small as walnut shell–just right

English: A Female Vervain Hummingbird sitting ...
to house the hummingbird in early spring.
When mama bird was left both day and night,
on little nest, she taught her babe to sing.
And now, the young bird’s grown and seems content
to wing above the trees and creeks and rocks.
Although he wonders where his papa went,
he thrives on nectar from pink four o’clocks.
He never frets but sings his song in trills
that echo like a love song from the hills.

Copyright, 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

Wrapped in Wonder

I love the night and stars and voice of birds
that through the dark can belt a song which trills
so sharp and clear it seems they sing with words.
The sound comes back to me from blackened hills.

Tree frogs clutched rough bark and they, too,
joined the serenade

of mockingbird that perched on slanted top
of house.  When I came home at night, her song
was smooth and loud and other sounds would stop–
I listened–felt akin to one born free.

A June bug, with string attached to leg,
buzzed from the lilac bush.

So much has changed since carefree teenage years
but still the nature that I love calls out
in baby robin’s squeak, in raindrop tears
and rabbit ice that spews from winter sprout.

The whippoorwills now call from
distant, darkened hills.

These joys will ever be my quilt, I pray,
and blanket me with warmth each icy day.

Copyright, 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

Called a Sonakit, this form was created by Kitty Yeager, a member of
Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas. It has free verse added between the
stanzas of a Shakespearean sonnet.

These Hills


These hills that reach to touch me
and encircle me with mirth
are the hills that I’ve called home,
since the moment of my birth.

I’ve sometimes thought of leaving
but then have changed my mind;
I’d never find an Ozarks
like the one I’d leave behind.

There’s no place like this
wherever I might roam;
no sky as blue as the one above
these hills that are my home.

These wild and wonderful Ozarks
so rich in country lore,
reach lovingly to hold me
forever at their door.

c Copyright, 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols
Published in Ozarks Mountaineer